Local Solutions with National Applications to Address the Workforce Needs of the Biotechnology Industry
Since 2003, The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a series of investments totaling $29,984,649 to address the workforce needs of the biotechnology industry. These investments include 17 High Growth grants totaling $24,415,968, and three Community Based Job Training Grants totaling $5,568,681. Leveraged resources from grantees total $20,350,908. These investments address the image, outreach, recruitment, and training workforce issues identified by the biotechnology industry. They are intended to provide innovative solutions, leadership, and models for partnership that can be replicated in different parts of the country.
DOL has sought to understand and implement industry-identified strategies to confront critical workforce shortages. ETA has listened to employers, industry association representatives and others associated with the biotechnology industry regarding some of their efforts to identify challenges ad implement effective workforce strategies; however, the challenges they face are far too complex for one institution or industry sector to solve alone. ETA is supporting comprehensive business, education, and workforce development partnerships that have developed innovative approaches that address the workforce needs of business while also effectively helping workers find good jobs with good wages and promising career pathways in the biotechnology industry.
This set of innovative workforce solutions is based on the biotechnology industry’s priorities that address issues such as:
- Expanding the pipeline of youth entering the biotechnology industry;
- Helping alternative labor pools gain industry-defined skills and competencies;
- Developing alternative training strategies for educating and training industry-specific professionals, such as apprenticeship, distance learning, and accelerated training;
- Developing tools and curricula for enhancing the skills of industry-specific professionals for nationwide distribution;
- Enhancing the capacity of educational institutions to train to industry-defined competencies;
- Developing industry-defined career ladders and lattices and corresponding competency models and curricula;
- Developing strategies to retain and help incumbent workers move into higher level positions; and
- Assisting transitioning individuals from declining industries to high growth industries by building on their existing skills and training for high growth biotechnology occupations.